Protecting Intellectual Property
The University of Kansas retains ownership of inventions arising from research and teaching at the university. The following provides an outline of the steps required to successfully protect your intellectual property.
Keep Records. The task of protecting intellectual property begins with documenting the process. Keep accurate, legible, written records of the development of your invention. These records should be witnessed and signed and dated by at least one other party.
Complete Invention Disclosure Questionnaire. When you have created an invention or work of authorship, regardless of commercial potential, complete an invention disclosure questionnaire and submit it to KUCTC as soon as possible. This is especially important if your invention has been or will soon be published or discussed at a public meeting because of deadlines for filing patent applications. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an Invention Disclosure form or call (785) 864-8087 or (913) 588-5721.
Evaluate commercial potential. On receipt of the invention disclosure questionnaire, KUCTC will schedule a meeting to discuss the invention. Attendees will include all of the inventors, KUCTC staff and the possibly peers in your field. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss commercial feasibility of the invention, and if appropriate, develop a plan for protecting and commercializing the intellectual property.
Develop plan for commercialization. Licensing is typically the way a university realizes an invention’s commercial potential. A license agreement between the University and a company entitles the company to commercialize the technology in return for such things as royalties, supporting patent costs and further research, funding support and/or equity in the company.
Develop a plan to protect the intellectual property. Intellectual property may be protected by patents, trademarks, copyrights or trade secrets. Each differs in its application, cost, and terms of protection. KUCTC will help identify a protection plan appropriate to the invention and its commercialization.
Sign Memorandum of Understanding. If an invention is licensed and provides royalty or other revenues to the University, KUCTC will draft a memorandum of understanding between the inventor(s) and the University to articulate how the revenues will be shared among KU, the university department, and inventor(s). In general, revenues will be shared only after the costs of prosecuting the patent and/or other legal costs have been fully recovered.